Why Vietnam?
Stunning scenery, combined with high-level customer service and charming local culture makes Vietnam an ideal travel destination for groups of any size. From the Northern highlands to Central coastline down to the exotic flood plains of the Southern provinces, Vietnam’s variety is one of its unique selling points. A year-round destination, the geography of Vietnam ensures it’s always a good time to travel, no matter what time of year.
Capital: Hanoi
Formerly Thang Long, the “City of the Rising Dragon,” Hanoi became Vietnam’s official capital city in 1954 with the signing of the Geneva agreement. The city later suffered tremendously from the destruction caused by the American bombardments during the Vietnam War, and the end of the conflict marked a long period of withdrawal from the outside world. Only From the 1990s and the commencement of the Doi Moi economic freedoms did Hanoi open up to the rest of the world once again. Today, Hanoi is a capital of irresistible charm, at the meeting point of traditions and legends, dotted with lakes, tree-lined avenues, and lush parks
  • Quick fact VietNamQuick fact VietNam
    Neighboring countries: China to the North, Cambodia to the south-west and Laos to the West. The South China Sea borders the country to the East
    Area: 331 041 km²
    Population : 96.49 million (Dec 2018)
    Capital: Hanoi
    Time Zone: GMT+7 hours.There is no daylight saving time (DST) used in Vietnam
    Religion:  Buddhists (75 %), Catholics (7%), Caodaïstes (2 %), Hoa Hao (2%), Protestants (0.75%), Muslims (0.1%)
    Language : Vietnamese
    Currency: Vietnamese Dong VND ($1 = 23 250 VND – January 2019)
  • Quick fact VietNamQuick fact VietNam
    Neighboring countries: China to the North, Cambodia to the south-west and Laos to the West. The South China Sea borders the country to the East
    Area: 331 041 km²
    Population : 96.49 million (Dec 2018)
    Capital: Hanoi
    Time Zone: GMT+7 hours.There is no daylight saving time (DST) used in Vietnam
    Religion:  Buddhists (75 %), Catholics (7%), Caodaïstes (2 %), Hoa Hao (2%), Protestants (0.75%), Muslims (0.1%)
    Language : Vietnamese
    Currency: Vietnamese Dong VND ($1 = 23 250 VND – January 2019)
  • Best time to go VietnamBest time to go Vietnam
  • Access & Transportation VietnamAccess & Transportation Vietnam
    BY AIR
    Traveling to Vietnam by air is quite easy as many airlines offer direct or indirect flights and more and more airports in Vietnam are open to international destinations. Today, the international airports are: Noi Bai in Hanoi, located around 45 minutes from the city-center (45km), Cat Bi in Hai Phong, Danang airport only 4km from the city-center, Cam Ranh located at around 40 minutes from Nha Trang city-center (30km) and Tan Son Nhat located just 20 minutes from the center of Ho Chi Minh City (6km).
    • BUS
    Taking the bus is the cheapest way to travel around cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang etc. The tickets usually cost 7000 dong ($0.35)
    The bus network is fairly well developed in big cities and is also a good way to get out of the inner city to visit some villages or other sites located in the suburbs and beyond. The inconvenience is that long distance buses usually depart from bus stations located some kilometers from the city center, so it is necessary to take a taxi to first reach the bus station.
    The bus is also a good means of transport to travel from one city to another and discover other outlying regions of the country. Many private companies offer bus services. Most of the time, buses are minivans, but you can also take night buses (buses with bunk beds) for longer trips.
    Those night buses are generally a very good alternative to the train which is often substantially more expensive. You can buy tickets and ask information at travel agencies and hotels in order to choose the bus service that matches your requirements (time of departure/arrival, place of departure/arrival, price etc).
    Please bear in mind, that even though the bus network is quite well developed, roads are often in bad condition and buses have to go slowly sometimes and stop often to pick up and drop off passengers. Transfer times are usually counted in hours and not in kilometers.
    • MOTO- TAXI
    Moto-taxis (Xe Ôm) are everywhere! On any street corner, parked on sidewalks, moto-taxi drivers will enthusiastically offer you their services wherever you want to go. Moto-taxis are a good alternative to a car taxi as they are more able to infiltrate the dense traffic of cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh and can save a lot of travel time. Besides, travel by motorbike taxi is fun and a great way to get up close and personal with the sights and sounds of Vietnam. Please be aware that you should fix the price before the departure. Don’t hesitate to bargain.
    Caution: the driver should provide you with a helmet for the ride as helmets have been compulsory since 2007. If the driver does not give you a helmet, just find another driver. If you are overly concerned about comfort and safety, moto-taxis aren’t really made for you, however if you are in a hurry and a bit intrepid, moto-taxis will be one of your best friends.
    Motorbikes are the main means of transport in Vietnam but even though most locals drive them, the law clearly forbids any foreigners without a valid Vietnamese license from driving a motorbike (international licenses do not apply in Vietnam). Indeed, traffic is really dense and the risk of accidents is real. Besides, most travel insurance policies do not cover travelers for motorbike accidents. However, if you really want to move around and drive like the Vietnamese do, you won’t have any problem finding an agency or a hotel that rents motorbikes (automatic or semi-automatic) with helmets to foreigners.
    • BIKES
    If you want a means of transport more peaceful you can also rent a bicycle. However, be aware that as for motorbikes, biking in the dense traffic of city-centers may be a bit scary and potentially dangerous. This is why we recommend you to wear a helmet and limit your bike riding to the countryside and suburbs, and outside of rush hours. One thing is for sure, riding a bike in the countryside and through villages will definitely be appreciated by the local people somewhat bemused to see foreigners making such an effort. Expect lots of smiles and happy hellos, even the occasional invite to stop and share a cup of tea.
    • TRAIN
    The train is a convenient means of transport in Vietnam. Transfers are secure and quite comfortable if you choose the “soft seat” or “soft bunk” classes. However, the railway network still has to be improved and travel times remain quite long (even really long). Thankfully, some Express railway services have been created, like the one between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, called the Reunification Express. We recommend you to preferably choose trains registered as SE rather than those registered TN, if you want to save time (a lot of time).
    • CAR
    Renting a car is forbidden for foreigners to drive (apart from expatriates with a Vietnamese license); however it is possible to rent a car with a driver if you want to travel alone or with your family.
    • PLANE
    Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to travel long distances in Vietnam. Moreover, airline tickets purchased in Vietnam are quite cheap, whether you want to take a domestic flight within the country or an international flight to a neighboring country.
  • Dos and Don’t VietnamDos and Don’t Vietnam

    Before the departure, it is always better to let your guests know about the culture and traditions of their destination to ensure they will have a pleasant trip. That will help them avoid offending the local population as well as have a better understanding of their new environment. Regarding Vietnam, have a look below to discover the DOs and DON’Ts
    Greeting & interactions with Vietnamese

    • For a Vietnamese, it is important to know the age of a person, before their job or even their wealth, as it is what defines their status. Thus, being ‘old’ is a positive attribute in Vietnam and asking a person how old they are is something common and well appreciated.
      When out in public
    • Please ask permission from locals before taking a photo. Particularly in the countryside or in the high lands.
    • Keep smiling. Being rude to bargain/negotiate prices won’t help you. Traditionally, people in Vietnam (as in other Asian countries) are conditioned to control their emotions and keep calm in order to save face
    • Any affectionate physical contact between men and women is not appropriate in public. It is better to avoid showing your affection in public
      When visiting a temple or a pagoda
    • Take off your shoes and socks before entering any religious place. Let them both at the entrance and walk barefoot in the temple or the pagoda.
    • Wear tee-shirt and shorts hiding at least your shoulders and your knees. Ideally, to avoid any problem wear trousers.
    • Don’t wear hats or caps in the temples and pagodas
      When invited to someone’s home
    • Traditionally, when you want to offer something to someone or when you receive a gift/object from someone, you have to use both hands.
    • Never hammer (tap) your chopsticks into your food (rice). This gesture reminds people of a ritual performed during a funeral.
  • Money & Budget VietnamMoney & Budget Vietnam


    The money in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong. You can find notes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000, 100 000 and 500 000 VND. The official exchange rate is $1 = 23 250 VND  (January 2019)



    Major currencies can be exchanged practically anywhere in Vietnam, but not all exchange facilities are created equal. It can be easily exchanged in authorized shop and the banks (Vietcombank, BIDV, Techcombank etc..). Banks in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will let change foreign currencies and most travelers’ checks.

    Always bring new notes; any damaged or dirty notes will be charged an additional two percent of the note’s face value.


    International credit/debit cards such as VISA and MASTERCARD are accepted in most ATMs and shops/stores that accept card payments. With a foreign card, a small percentage of the amount withdrawn/paid will be charged; however this amount remains quite low. The money withdrawn at ATMs is always in Vietnam Dong.


    Only banks located in big cities such as (Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh) keep accepting traveler cheques. We recommend you to have another means of payment.


    Bargaining is part of the Vietnamese tradition. You have to bear in mind that everything (or almost everything) is worth a certain price, but the price varies (sometimes a lot) according to the client. You can be sure that with your foreign face you won’t be offered the best price… so bargaining is essential! You can even halve the price or even more sometimes. Be careful, however, not to offend the vendor and to keep smiling and stay polite in any circumstance. Don’t push too much and do not bargain in any place it is not welcome: shops with fixed prices are not open to negotiation.


    Tips are not part of the tradition of Vietnam. However, in some situations and thanks to the many generous travelers that have preceded you, tipping is becoming more popular.

    For example, you can tip your guide after a whole day or several days of travel. You can also tip luggage porters and taxi drivers.

    It is not usual to tip a waitress/ waiter.

    When visiting temples or pagodas, you will usually see some donation boxes near the entrance/exit in which you can place some money. In this case, we do not call it tips but donations, dedicated to the maintenance of the site. Vendors and other people within the venue may also invite you to pray with them with an incense stick, but if you accept, some of them will likely ask you for some money in exchange.

  • Health VietnamHealth Vietnam


    Officially, no vaccinations are required to enter Vietnam apart from travelers coming from countries with yellow fever transmission risks. However, if you travel to Vietnam you should do everything possible and take all required precautions to avoid becoming ill during your trip. Make sure that all your vaccinations are current and that you are vaccinated for Tetanus, Polio and Diphtheria. Other vaccines recommended include Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B (if you are in-country for over 3 months), Typhus and Tuberculosis, vaccinations against rabies and Japanese encephalitis are also advised.

    Health Advice

    • Drink plenty of fluids during the day (2 liters).
    • Do not drink tap water in Vietnam. Only bottled water is drinkable.
    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid eating unpeeled fruit or raw vegetables and ice.
    • Most important: trust your gut feeling. If you don’t like your food, stop eating and do a double check when eating from street vendors.

    – Keep a pull-over with you to cover yourself when the air conditioning is too cold or for cooler nights outside

  • Emergency contacts VietnamEmergency contacts Vietnam

    Your home embassy may be able to assist with advice during emergencies or serious problems. You might want to register if possible before you arrive so that the embassy staff will know where to reach you in case of emergency at home. If calling a Myanmar emergency number you may have to ask the aid of a Burmese speaker because there might not be an English-speaking operator on the line:
    Ambulance: 115
    Fire department: 114
    Police: 113


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Ahome Travel

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